Will it ever end!!!
Friday, December 13, 2019
Wow! I don't even know where to begin! I have not slowed down since Pumpkin Show (3rd week of October)! I don't even know where November went to. And, now December is almost half-way over!
My workload has been crazy! I have had anywhere from 2-4 IEPs every Thursday for the last 4 weeks or so! I had 3 of them yesterday. Prior to Thanksgiving break, things had semi-started to calm down. Because of the craziness of completing about 3k IEPs by Oct 31, the entire SPED department was given a comp day to use during this semester. I used my comp day the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I had wanted to use it the Monday after, but then I realized that state testing started on that day.
The last week of October, we made a quick trip to South Carolina. I got to hear the most amazing speaker, Christine Caine!! She was unbelievable! I really enjoyed listening to her. Joyce Meyer was good as well, but I liked Christine better. Then, on Saturday we actually ended up skipping the conference and went to visit Ft. Sumter. That was sooo much fun!!!!!
We got back to Ohio that Sunday around like 2 or 3.
Thanksgiving was really tough for me. We started at my sister's house. She and her husband have 4 children, then there are 4 in my household, and my brother-in-law's parents joined us with their other 2 sons. We left my sister's around 4:30 and headed to my cousin's house (about 2 hours away). I'm not sure exactly how many were there. My aunt and uncle were there, along with their daughter's family (2 kids), the son's family (3 kids) and like 3 other couples. Plus, we were joined by my grandmother and my uncle and cousins who live in Texas (4 kids). My niece and the little one we foster were there too. So, I was just around too many people that day! I get completely overwhelmed when I'm around more than about 5 or 6 people for a long time.
But, the festivities didn't end there.
This year was unusual for us. My parents typically eat at Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving Day and we have our family gathering the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We combine two celebrations into 1 on that day: Thanksgiving and the most important football game of the year. The Ohio State vs. Michigan game. About 10 years ago, it got lame watching it because OSU just dominated the game. Then, Michigan won a game, which surprised us all. When I was in college, it was actually being said that the rivalry that begun in like 1870 was dead because Michigan just could not perform on the field. But, then Michigan decided to start showing up on the field, and OSU had to actually fight for the win. This year marked the 8th consecutive win for OSU. It was the first win for Coach Day, since he just started this year. It actually looked like Michigan was going to beat OSU by the end of the first half. However, OSU made an amazing recovery and just ground Michigan to the dust in the 2nd half. I don't remember the final score, but there was like a 30 pt difference.
That being said, we had company again on Saturday. There was my family (4), my sister's family (6), some really good friends of my parents (a couple that we have known since my childhood plus one of dad's schoolmates from high school), then the couple's children were there with there families. Both the son and daughter are married and they each have 3 children (the son's daughter is the only girl out of the 6 grandchildren!). All of them, except the son's wife, were at our house for several hours that Saturday. Now, to make it even more difficult, between the 3 families, there were 8 children under the age of 5! Plus, the older 3 children that are 7 (until next week), 9, and 11.
So, between those two days, it was just too much stimulation for me!!! I have not been to church since before Thanksgiving. When I told my counselor this last week, she was shocked. She knows how important church is to me! But, I just haven't been able to handle being around people Now, my church is extremely small. I there's about 40, maybe, that attend on Sundays. But, i just haven't even been able to handle that.
Then, on December 2, the testing window for the fall End of Course high school exams opened up. I was assigned to a testing site about an hour southwest of where I live. I was offered a hotel, but due to the location of the site, it was suggested that we stay in one of either of the neighboring cities. The two choices of cities were each about 25 minutes from the test site. The first city was southwest from the test site. Then, the other suggested location was about 15 minutes from my house. So, I told them I would just drive rather than get a hotel. I traveled a few days last week to administer the tests. Then, i have traveled every day this week. I submitted my mileage yesterday for all the days that I had been down here so far. The reimbursement for just my mileage is over $400. I have been driving an average of 120 miles a day for the last couple of weeks. It has been INSANE!!!!!!
On top of administering the tests and driving, i had to write 3 IEPs by yesterday. I wrote 1 on each day starting with Monday. The first IEP took approximately 8 hours to write. The next one took about 6 hours, then the last one took about 4. The reason the first two took so long was due to the extensive nature of the disabilities of the child. That, and there was a lot of information to put in the document. The third student is a senior. I know him much better than the other two, and he just signed a waiver for the ETR that is due this year. With the way the ETR was written, it didn't take nearly as long to write his IEP as the other two did.
Wednesday I had some sort of panic/anxiety attack that lasted about 7 hours. It was really bad. I was originally not scheduled to see my counselor until this afternoon, but I called her on Wednesday and changed it to yesterday. That was one of my hardest sessions yet. I was explaining about this week, then some how (I don't know how this happened), we began talking about the abuse I had endured during my marriage. It was really hard to talk about that. I know that one of the reasons for my struggles is because I've averaged about 4 hours of sleep a night for the past week and a half. I normally get about 6-7 hours of sleep. I was hoping I could sleep in tomorrow, but I found out last night that I have to be somewhere at 8:00 tomorrow morning.